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'No EU membership' for Turkey: Danish politicians

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'No EU membership' for Turkey: Danish politicians
Supporters of President Erdogan celebrate in Istanbul on Sunday. Photo: Yagiz Karahan/Reuters/Scanpix
10:08 CEST+02:00
Any talk of Turkey joining the EU is moot after the result of the country's referendum giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan broader powers, say Danish politicians.

51 percent of Turkish voters accepted the constitutional changes in Sunday's referendum, although opposition and watchdogs have already questioned the fairness of the vote.

Nevertheless, the result of the referendum means in all likelihood more executive power invested in the redefined post of president, which Erdogan will now be able to hold until 2029.

Denmark's prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen expressed his concern about the result, writing on Twitter that he found it “strange that democracy is being used to restrict democracy.”

“I do not contest the right of the majority, but am now very concerned about the new system of Turkish government,” he continued.

Krisitan Thulesen Dahl, leader of the populist Danish People's party, wrote on Facebook that any talk of Turkey joining the EU can be dismissed in light of the referendum.

“Turkey as a future member of the EU? After today even the biggest supporters of Turkey joining the EU have to admit that idea is finally finished!” wrote Dahl on Facebook.

The Eurosceptic party leader added that “maybe it is right after all to say that nothing is so bad that it is not good for anything,” using a Danish expression approximately equivalent to ‘it is an ill wind that blows no good'.

The left wing Red-Green Alliance (Enhedslisten) party also criticised the result.

“Enhedslisten has proposed an immediate suspension of EU membership negotiations with Turkey until democracy has been reinstated,” said the party's EU spokesperson Søren Søndergaard in a statement, according to news agency Ritzau.''

“The already-ailing Turkish democracy will now be placed with an absolute ruler,” he said.

According to Søndergaard, the result of Sunday's vote will make the state of emergency in the country – adopted after a failed coup attempt in July 2016 – will now become permanent, with all power in the hands of the president.

READ ALSO: MPs reject Turkish election campaigns in Denmark

The EU itself has already voiced its concerns about the possibility of Turkey reinstating capital punishment following the referendum, calling it a “red line” for the EU.

EU parliament member and Social Democrat Jeppe Kofod called the result of the referendum a “scandal”.

“Scandal! A parody of a referendum when journalists are imprisoned and democracy is abolished by voting yes,” wrote Kofod on Twitter, where he also retweeted a series of other criticisms of the Turkish referendum, including one referring to US President Donald Trump congratulating Erdogan on his victory.

Just under 50 million Turkish citizens voted in Sunday's referendum, with 51.18 percent voting yes and 48.82 percent voting no to the constitutional changes, reports Ritzau.

The country's two main opposition parties have stated their intention to appeal against the result, saying that a number of ballot papers were counted without the necessary validation stamps.

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